The leader of the Balkan country, President Aleksandar Vucic, already expressed his gratitude towards President Putin for boosting his military. Romania did not allow the battle tanks and armoured vehicles to transit via the Danube River because of international sanctions in place against Moscow over its actions in Ukraine.
According to the AP News Agency, Western powers fear that the Russian arms support might threaten the fragile peace in the Balkan region with, for example, Kosovo or Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Serbian President expects 30 secondhand T-72 tanks and 30 BRDM-2 reconnaissance vehicles of which
10 armoured patrol vehicles have recently arrived
at a Serbian army military base.
Romania refused to allow them to be transited via the Danube River because of international sanctions in place against Moscow over its actions in Ukraine. Therefore, according to the AP News Agency, the 10 armoured vehicles flew to Serbia last week on Russian military transport planes
through the Hungarian airspace,
even though relevant NATO sanctions concern Hungary, too.
“The most important thing for us is that we managed to transport the vehicles to Serbia,” Vucic said. “How and which way they came, that is our business.”
Serbia is the only remaining ally to Russia in the Balkans region and was in a bloody conflict with its neighbours in the 1990s after the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. In fact, Romania is a member of the NATO while Serbia is officially neutral, though it is traditionally close to Moscow even though
Belgrade would like to join the EU
and it receives great help from Hungary, for example, to successfully do so in the near future.
The Serbian armed forces have already received six MiG-29 fighter jets from Russia and expect the delivery of additional attack and transport helicopters by the end of this year.
Russians say that by supporting Belgrade militarily, they strengthen the security of the region, so they are going to help Serbia even in the future. “Russia is ready and will always be ready for military and technical cooperation with Serbia,” the Russian ambassador attending the delivery ceremony on Monday said. He added that they “will continue working in this direction.”
AP says that there is
fear in the West that Russia could push Serbia toward another war,
especially against its former province of Kosovo that proclaimed independence in 2008. Serbia and Russia do not recognise Kosovo’s statehood.
The Hungarian government is very proud of developing political and economic relationships with Serbia. Recently, the Hungarian and Serbian presidents inaugurated a statue for the “defender of Europe” against the Ottoman invasion, the Hungarian regent who stopped Ottoman forces at the gates of Nándorfehérvár (now Belgrade) in 1456 for which the bells of the Christian churches ring at midday. However, the statue looks a bit strange, check it by clicking HERE.